Reilly Bodycomb – Time to Calf Crush!

Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of leg locks. Dan writes for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more of his leg lock articles and resources at  

Calf Crush Submission

Getting someone’s back is always an ideal position to be in. There are so many options thcat become available to you should you find yourself on the back of your opponent. The most common option, of course being the rear naked choke, is not always accessible. The Rear Naked Choke is not always feasible to obtain; your opponent may be doing a good job of tucking the neck or crossing their arms in front, restricting your access to their neck. While there are still many other options for attack from this position, Reilly shows us an unorthodox submission that will lead to a quick tap if executed properly.


The Calf Crush is a devastatingly painful submission. Similar to a bicep crush, it attacks the muscle instead of a joint as most submissions do. The muscle is met with force from both top and bottom and is extremely uncomfortable. This is a good technique to keep in mind when rolling with someone who seems to not be affected by traditional joint attacks. For example, if you were attempting an arm bar and your opponent’s arm looks like Meisha Tate’s right before Rousey broke it, and they are still not tapping, switch your position on the arm and go for a bicep crush instead.

Peices to the Puzzle:

The Position:  For the Calf Crush from the back option, Reilly tells us to maintain back control with our leg hooks in. Next, get an over/under position with your arms –one arm under the arm pit of your opponent and the other over their shoulder. You will then grasp your hands together.


The Transition: Reilly then releases one of his leg hooks. If you will notice, he releases the leg on the same side as his “under” arm is. The arm that is under the arm pit of his opponent is the same side leg that is released. The leg is then placed flat on the floor, and your opponent is then dragged onto your “over” arm and you are on your side hip. Next, Reilly tells us to use your free foot to “grab” our opponent’s far side leg. This is the leg he or she is now leaning on; your hook should still have been maintained on this leg. Reilly then uses his foot to bring his opponents foot up to a point where Reilly can then grab it with his hands.


The Submission:  Now, from this position, the submission is easy. As Reilly brings the foot up with his hand, he uses his free foot and triangles it over the ankle of his hooked leg. This causes tremendous pressure on the calf of your opponent. From here, you simply pull the foot down towards your body, and voila! Tap!


– Dan ‘Micro’ Faggella

PS: I wrote a blog post recently about my most painful LOSS in competition (where I actually was going for a calf-crush at one point!) – what was unfortunate was what happens around 2:13 of the video here.

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